The Olivet College Performing Arts Department will host a recital featuring special guest musicians Gayla Blaisdell, Ph.D., and Elaine Ross, Ph.D., Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m. in the Upton Conservatory of Music recital hall. The artists will perform works by Ross and other notable women composers, including Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann and Pauline Viardot. The event is free and open to the public.
Gayla Bauer Blaisdell, soprano, is associate professor and vocal area coordinator at Central Washington University (CWU), where she has been a member of the faculty since 2008. She has a vibrant studio of aspiring singers and directs the nationally award-winning CWU Opera Ensemble. In addition to her work at CWU, Blaisdell is a sought after masterclass clinician and pedagogue in the areas of vocal performance, opera directing and feminist musicology.
Along with teaching, she has maintained a busy performance schedule. Blaisdell appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and made her Carnegie Hall debut as soprano soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the American Composers Orchestra. She will soon be releasing a CD of vocal/piano music featuring music written by Elaine Ross.
Blaisdell holds a doctorate in vocal performance from New York University (NYU), where she was a member of the NYU adjunct voice faculty for seven years. She has established herself as a scholar in feminist theory and opera, presenting her work at national and regional venues. She holds a graduate diploma in opera and a master’s degree in vocal performance from New England Conservatory and a bachelor’s degree in voice from the Eastman School of Music.
A 1988 Olivet College graduate, Elaine Ross, piano, joined the music theory faculty at Ohio University in the fall of 2013. Prior to this appointment, she served as chair of music theory at the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, Calif., and as coordinator of music theory/composition at CWU. Ross has also served on the faculty at the University of Minnesota-Morris, University of Michigan-Flint, and Interlochen Arts Academy.
As a composer, she has had numerous works selected for performances at Society of Composers, Inc., College Music Society, and National Association for Music Education conferences, as well as throughout the United States and France. Ross has also served as a collaborative pianist for numerous faculty, guest artists and student performances.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Olivet College, a master’s degree in music theory, and a doctorate from Texas Tech in fine arts with a concentration in music theory/composition.
For more information, contact Ramona Kime, Ph.D., associate professor of music, at 269.749.7692.